Death toll from Haiti earthquake rises
PORT-AU-PRINCE – The death toll from the 5.9 magnitude earthquake that struck northwest Haiti over the weekend has risen to 17.
And officials say the number of injured is now around 333.
And as the French-speaking nation continues assessing the damage, the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission has called on the international community to launch a swift, coordinated and aggressive relief effort to assist the people and government of the country.
Speaking from OECS Commission Headquarters, OECS Director General Dr. Didacus Jules said yesterday the OECS stands in strong solidarity with Haiti and urges a rapid international relief effort to support, in particular, Port-de-Paix and other regions where hospitals are struggling to cope in the aftermath.
“Geographically, Haiti is among the most exposed nation globally to natural disasters and regrettably the least able economically to withstand such shocks both in terms an immediate response but long term recovery. In the wake of other headline grabbing recent earthquakes and natural disasters, I urge the international community to remember that the size of a natural disaster does not always reflect the depth of human suffering,” he said.
“We urge international leadership to provide Haiti and its people not only the compassion, but the emergency and development assistance of concerned and able nations all Haitians urgently need at this difficult time.”
Meantime, in addition to offering its condolences, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) says it stands ready to offer Haiti “assistance within its capabilities to aid in the recovery process.”
Following the 5.9 magnitude quake last Saturday night, Haiti experienced several aftershocks, including two of 5.2 magnitude and another of 4.2 magnitude.
According to the situation report from Haiti’s Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) nine people died in Port-de-Paix (North-West department), one in Saint Louis du Nord (North-West department) and seven in Gros Morne (Artibonite department).
According to initial estimates by the DPC, 7,783 households were affected as a result of the partial or total destruction of their homes.